Thoughts on Windows 10

Windows 8 was a bold attempt to fix this, and to throw out much of that accumulated debris. And, surprisingly, it has worked to a pretty respectable degree. Windows 8, particularly when running Metro apps, is an operating systems that is much simpler than any other desktop OS. And Windows 8, unlike iOS, has managed to achieve this without losing much, if any, of the power of a traditional desktop operating system.

-Lukas Mathis, Windows 10: Re-Crappifying Windows 8”, Ignore the Code

I read this particular coverage by Mr. Mathis the other day and found that I personally might have liked Windows 8 had I been using a Microsoft Surface. Mathis has a great voice in his writing and it is often hard for me to disagree with him, especially when it comes to design. Of course, it helps that he is often well-informed on the design decisions that he chooses to deride or exalt. Either way, I was never a fan of Windows 8 and Windows 10 (from what I saw of Microsoft’s coverage) looked just as ill-advised, even though I really do like the idea of a single code base across multiple devices.

The problem with which I often took offense in Windows 8 was the jarring nature of the Metro (Windows Phone-style) interface next to the Windows 7-style interface. In addition, the use of a mouse in Windows 8 just felt wrong much of the time, especially when in the Metro UI. That is not to say that Windows 8 couldn’t be used with a mouse, but the OS just screamed for a touchscreen, which was both too soon (for Microsoft’s computer OEM partners) and too late (to save Microsoft from the dominance of the iPad in the tablet space).

I was one of the many that said from the very beginning that Micrsoft should have probably cut ties with the Windows brand and called their new OS (and interaction concept) Metro instead. The interface, especially on phones and tablets, just made sense and was much more powerful than iOS is key ways, as Mathis discusses, which is the reason why I quoted the above text. I think Microsoft is making a mistake by taking a step back to Windows 7 styling in Windows 10, just as Mathis does, but in the short term, it will give Microsoft’s core users—those that skipped both Vista and Windows 8 due to their loss aversion—exactly what they asked for: same, old Windows.


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.